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January 2019, Community Forum Newsletter

Next Community Forum

Wednesday, June, 2019
Time and Location to be determined. 

We strongly encourage you to use public transportation, if possible. Take the TRAX University Red Line to the Stadium stop, the Red Route for the university’s free campus shuttles (Carlson Hall stop) and for other public transit options use UTA’s Trip Planner or click the “Transit” option under “Get Directions” on Google maps.

We welcome your attendance, comments and participation in the discussion.

AGENDA of Next Forum

  • TBD

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Recap of the JANUARY 23, 2019 Community Forum

January meeting foreword 

The University of Utah has seen a dramatic change in leadership over the past year. This evening we were lucky enough to be joined by President Ruth V. Watkins, along with Dan Reed, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, and Michael Good, senior vice president for Health Sciences. They shared their vision for this growing campus with nearly 50 community members in attendance.

The full recording of January’s meeting can be viewed below. Unfortunately, the microphones in the room did not pick up the questions from the crowd as accurately as we would have liked. We will work to correct this technical issue in the future. The order of speakers is as follows:

  • Welcome from Shawn Wood, community liaison, University Communications
  • Joe Sargetakis, member, University of Utah Board of Trustees
  • Chris Nelson, communications director, University Communications
  • Ruth V. Watkins, president, University of Utah
  • Dan Reed, senior vice president, Academic Affairs
  • Michael Good, senior vice president, University of Utah Health Sciences
  • Audience questions
  • Robin Burr, chief design and construction officer, University of Utah

Community Forum meeting Changes 

The university hosts four meetings a year: January (set by U policy), May, a summer BBQ, and October. Moving forward, the May meeting will be combined with the summer BBQ. This change was made with the support of the Board of Trustees representative.

Stallion football games hosted at the U 

The Alliance of American Football’s Salt Lake Stallions played their first home game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 23. To make sure you’re prepared, the season schedule can be found here.

With the exception of the season closer, a games will be held on Saturday’s. That Friday game is scheduled for April 12, 2019 at 6 p.m. Lights and sound coming from the stadium is to be expected. Celebratory fireworks are also possible if the team performs well throughout the season.

Entry gates will open 90 minutes before all Stallions games. The university continues to strongly encourage all attendees to take alternative forms of transportation to the games. More information can be found here.

No organized or sponsored tailgating will be permitted on Stallions game days.

To see her remarks jump to 3:33.

By nearly every measure, the University of Utah is on the rise—from graduation rates to research project funding and prestigious national rankings and recognitions. And that is why President Ruth V. Watkins uses one word to describe the U’s future: Boundless.

“We are changing people’s lives by focusing on the quality of the student experience and getting people through the degree they came for,” Watkins said. “We’re attracting great people to the University of Utah. They are succeeding in doing their work here. They are staying here and they are earning the kind of national recognition that makes a difference. That’s a good story—a major point of pride for the university.”

The U has reached a remarkable accomplishment in achieving a record $515 million in research project funding. More information and a short video commemorating this accomplishment can be found here.

“That success shows the value, the importance, and the impact of our researchers,” Watkins said. “When we look at the University of Utah, our unique strengths are our comprehensive excellence. The breath that we have as an institution, with an academic medical center, a comprehensive campus, sharing the same physical footprint, as One U, we can achieve anything.”

To see his remarks jump to 26:55.

Dan Reed came to the U from the University of Iowa as the vice president for Research and Economic Development. Before that he was a vice president for Global Technology Policy at Microsoft and spent significant time speaking with world governments about the future of technology and how it’s shaping the world.

The University of Utah is an institution on the rise. By almost any metric: physical footprint, student success, and quality of its faculty. The administration’s goal is to utilize its funding, its intellectual assesses to build a better world for the future.

During his presentation Reed covered the following topics:

  • The continuing mission of the university
    • Has created a taskforce from across campus to:
      • Raise the U’s profile
      • Broaden access and diversity
      • Increasing graduation rates and student success
    • Leadership searches
      • Director of the Pioneer Theatre Company
      • Dean of the College of Science
      • Dean of the College of Law
    • Quantifying the U’s economic impact
      • Direct and indirect to Utah’s economy
    • Student success
      • The Income Share Agreement that will support non-traditional students who are a few credits away from receiving their degree.

To see his remarks jump to 37:06.

A doctor of anesthesiology, Mike Good came to the U from the University of Florida as the dean of the Medical School. He also spent nine proud years leading the VA health care system.

Here at the U under President Watkins’ leadership the One U theme expands to be “university integrated academic health science center.” The U has a medical, nursing, pharmacy, health, dentistry, 14 clinics, and 1,400 physicians solving the medical problems of today. The U campus is one of only two dozen institutions located on the same physical footprint working to solve the problems of today.

Ranked No. 5 nationally for outpatient and ambulatory care providers, a new ranking that has only been around for four years. The value of health care and education are vitally important. But more work and effort need to be focused on better serving the growing diversity of the city, the valley, and the state of Utah.

Data shows the closer residents live to a world-class health system, the higher the life expectancy and longevity of those residents. The U is expanding services throughout the Salt Lake Valley. The Sugar House medical center is coming online in 2020. It will serve two major purposes: Bring services closer to those residents and to reduce the congestion and traffic to the main hospital and clinics location on campus.

Spence Eccles once said that, “Any state pursuing greatness needs a world-class medical center at its nucleus, joined by a world class university.”

Question and answer session jump to 45:08.


Robin Burr, chief of design and construction, University of Utah Facilities Management
To see her remarks jump to 59:01.
For full slide presentation, click here

Adding 30 guest rooms to the west of the existing structure. The ground floor will have expanded meeting spaces/conference rooms. The upper floors will be designed as suites with kitchenettes to better serve patrons requiring longer stays.

A footbridge has been installed to increase accessibility to the Guest House. Currently those needing to get to the Guest House either trample the glen or have to walk around the glen.

New South Campus Student Housing
Construction began in early November on the new student housing facility on campus. For now, called the 2020 project, when complete this facility will house 992 students. Raising the total number of students living on campus to 4,398.

This new building will have three wings and incorporate both Living Learning and Theme communities, read more about those here. The three themed wings will be health and wellness, technology initiative, and community engagement. All designed to bring students together through shared study and gathering spaces.

Aimed at replacing the 1980s Dumke building at that south-end zone with crumbling utilities in the walls. The new design will enclose the south-end of the stadium and provide more suites and fan seating. The concourse will be connected so one could walk around the entire structure.

Construction will begin as the season ends of 2020, giving nine months for construction to ensure a football season is not missed.

Mobility transit hubs
A major traffic study will be undertaken by the U to analyze traffic around the U and create at least three Mobility Hubs. Hub 1 will serve the Stadium and the VA, Hub 2 will serve the Health Sciences campus and Hub 3 will be smaller and service Research Park. An RFP is being written and funding secured.

The U is aware of the various traffic studies conducted and funded by local communities, the city and state. All studies have been evaluated and will impact this new study. The goal is to connect these different studies into a cohesive whole and begin enacting change over the next several years.

Sugar House Health Center
Opening in October 2019, the new five-story, 170,000 square foot facility will have urgent care, radiation oncology, infusion, imaging, women’s health, internal medicine, endocrinology, ARUP, and rehabilitation amenities. These services will help contribute to alleviating traffic congestion going to and from the U campus. Serving our patients in the communities where they live and work.

Health Science Traffic & Parking Study
Surveying patients as they come to the health sciences campus on how they arrived and what alternative modes they would use if available. It will review current parking and transportation, include valet, self-park, TRAX, bus, shuttles, etc.

Huntsman Phase Five
Dedicated 50 bone marrow transplant beds and administrative offices. The proposal is currently being presented during this legislative session. Architects and builders have not been selected at this time.

The 2008 Campus Master Plan designated this area in the center of campus as green space. Phase one will be the installation of an NCAA regulation soccer field and lacrosse practice field. Phase two will be to build a stadium that includes locker rooms, seating, concessions, and restrooms.

Some parking in the near area will also be removed and converted into recreational fields and will double as storm water retention ponds.

Two terraced lots with storm water retention ponds are being installed to the north and east of the Eccles Broadcast Center. This is replacing the parking being taken from the new housing and soccer/lacrosse projects. The north parking lot opened Jan. 7, 2019.

Previously called the Ambulatory Care Complex because it was not initially designed with patient beds, it does now. Phase one, the clinics, will open in June 2019.

The steel frame is now up and work is proceeding. When complete, it will have 75 beds and will open in January 2020.

A live video stream and time lapse can be viewed here.

The design is currently being re-evaluated. Decanting and demolition will not begin until the ACC and Rehabilitation Hospital are complete.